Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 18, 2018

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment”

Today’s devotion comes from Amos chapter 2.  Here is a link to this chapter –

I quote only the following verses.

“4 Thus says the LORD,
“For three transgressions of Judah and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they rejected the law of the LORD
And have not kept His statutes;
Their lies also have led them astray,
Those after which their fathers walked.
5 “So I will send fire upon Judah
And it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem.”

6 Thus says the LORD,
“For three transgressions of Israel and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for money
And the needy for a pair of sandals.
7 “These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless
Also turn aside the way of the humble;
And a man and his father resort to the same girl
In order to profane My holy name.
8 “On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar,
And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.”  Amos 2:4-8.


In the previous chapter and devotion, we meditated on the nations that were neighbors to Judah and Israel and God’s judgment and punishment for their sins.

There may be those in Judah and Israel who felt morally superior to the nations surrounding them, and they may have heard of Amos’ prophecy with delight and may have been eager to wag their finger at them.

But, in this chapter and devotion, we meditate on Judah and Israel and God’s judgment and punishment for their sins.

“9 What then?  Are we better than they?  Not at all;  for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;  10 as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”  Romans 3:9-12.

And, God had the right to require more from Judah and Israel considering all the guidance, protection, and other blessings that He gave them as He detailed in verses 9-11.

“And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.  From everyone who has been given much, much will be required;  and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”  Luke 12:47-48.

“Then what advantage has the Jew?  Or what is the benefit of circumcision?  Great in every respect.  First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.”  Romans 3:1-2.

Much will be required of us today.

Today, we too have been given God’s Word.  But, we have been given much more than the Jews in Amos day.  The Jews in Amos’ day had part of the Old Testament, but we have all of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament.  Most importantly, we have Jesus Christ, the exact representation of God, a Teacher and Savior.

We have countless churches and publications and other sources by which we can hear and read good preaching and good teaching.

We have two thousand years of forefathers in the faith from whom we can learn and stand on their shoulders.

We have all the sound doctrine developed by them.

In conclusion, it is noteworthy and a warning to us today that the very first transgression listed is that Judah rejected God’s law and did not keep His statutes.  See verse 4.  This rejection of God’s Word was likely the cause of the other transgressions and ultimately the reason for God’s punishment.

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.

Most may be required of us Reformed believers who have received knowledge of the truth.  Arminians believe that Christ’s blood was shed for everyone but that Christ’s blood was ineffective by itself to save, because they believe that something needs to be added to Christ’s blood in order for it to be able to save.  But Reformed believers know the truth of how precious the blood of Christ is, because Christ’s blood was shed only for God’s elect but is able to provide all that is needed for salvation.  Arminians believe that they need to contribute something to Christ’s blood to be effective for their salvation whether it be works, wisdom, or even just the alleged free-will to be saved.  But Reformed believers know the truth that they are saved by grace alone and that all the saving gifts were purchased by Christ’s blood.

Reformed believers have received knowledge of the truth, but will we Reformed believers trample on Christ’s blood, not in the sense of being hateful to it but in the sense of treating it as ineffective by itself, like the description in Matthew 5: 13:  “…if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”?

Reformed believers have received knowledge of the truth, but will we Reformed believers insult the Spirit of grace by taking partial credit for salvation?

What will we Reformed believers do with this knowledge of truth of which we have been entrusted?

“but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.”  1 Thessalonians 2:4.

“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed;  for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.  Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”  2 Timothy 1:6-14.

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